On Friday, April 24, 2015, at the ADGL Synod, Bishop Roger announced the beginning of a process to elect a new bishop in the next year. Following are remarks to explain this transition, which will be led by the College of Bishops.
We are going to request that you begin a process to make an episcopal transition in the next year. We feel we have done God’s work in setting up the DNA of the diocese. The work that is developing is on us alone. Bishop Peter (Beckwith) has helped in significant ways, but Peter has his own calling. The stretch of this diocese is vast. After meeting with the Standing Committee, we agreed it’s okay to look at a change in the episcopal office. It’s going to take a little time.
This is how it’s laid out: I have asked the Standing Committee to request the College of Bishops to took at the way we go about that and give us permission to have an election. I don’t know what happens if they don’t give permission, I guess I am here forever! So in the meeting in June in British Columbia, we want to lay out the request to call a new bishop. They will take it under advisement. This is new stuff. In some sense we are pioneers. Here are some thing I know after talking to Archbishop Foley.
We will ask for a sustainability review: How many parishes? What is the structure? What are overlapping structure? What is weekly attendance? We need to determine the need for a new bishop. We do not have many overlapping structures. The problematic piece is about financing. It means we cannot continue as we are. We must be able to support a bishop and benefits. We need to move in the direction to support a new bishop.
We’ll put a committee together under the Standing Committee. We don’t elect bishops straight-out. That’s all gone. The diocese does do a search process. Eventually, you will have names to vote on. The hope is two or three candidates. Those names will go to the College of Bishops in January. They will interview the candidates. Then we pray. Finally, the College of Bishops will elect the new bishop. It’s not the process you remember. It is led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in charge of the whole thing. We don’t need to be afraid of the process. And, Grestie and I are willing to offer ourselves to help any way that is needed.